A YOUNG boy allegedly shut in a cupboard and beaten with a metal stick was referred to the Social Services up to three times while at his Bradford nursery school, a jury heard today.

The child also suffered 15 injuries recorded in the school incident log, between September 2012 and June 2013, a staff member told Bradford Crown Court.

The four-year-old was recorded as having bruising and swelling to his face and head, an injured back and a badly bruised shoulder.

On June 12, 2013, he said his mother's friend had put her foot on top of him and kicked him and that she shut him in a cupboard.

The staff member said the child's mother would tell the school he had fallen over or that one of his sisters had assaulted him.

Social workers were informed on up to three occasions and, in November 2012, the school made a referral to the child protection team.

No action was taken, with one health visitor describing the little lad as "a happy chatterbox".

The child's mother and her female friend are on trial denying 21 months of cruelty and neglect against him.

The 40-year-old Bradford mother denies two offences of child cruelty against her son, between August, 2012, and April, 2014.

Her friend, in her late 20s, and also of Bradford, pleads not guilty to two similar charges of child cruelty and two allegations of unlawfully wounding the child.

The women, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the boy, were arrested in 2014 after doctors at Bradford Royal Infirmary suspected that a cut to his chin and weals on his back and arm were non-accidental.

The boy was five when he told the police he had been struck with a metal stick by his mother's friend.

His sisters accused the woman of shutting him in a cupboard for hours on end and hitting him on the head with a high heeled shoe.

One of the girls said he had been sealed in the cupboard for more than ten hours while the rest of the family, and their mother's friend, had a day out in Blackpool.

The girls also alleged their little brother was Sellotaped into the cupboard while the family went shopping.

One described seeing her brother "whacked and whacked and whacked" with a metal stick by their mother's friend.

The girls said his head wound, after he was struck with a shoe, was stuck with super glue by the woman in an effort to repair it.

The trial continues.